22 Natural Remedies for Endocrine Disruption
This wonderful book is shared by the documentary series 'The Healing Key' (Copyright 2020 by Goodness Lover Pty Ltd - All rights reserved.)
Once again, here I wanted to share with you this wonderful guide book which actually focuses on endocrine system and hormones but since we know how important it is this for us, mental health
professionals, I wanted to offer for whoever likes to read and implement these into his/her daily routine. Our mood and emotional states are not separable from the rest of the body.
Disclaimer Copyright 2020 by Goodness Lover Pty Ltd - All rights reserved.
This book contains information that is not designed to take the place of, substitute, or replace any form and method of professional or medical advice and treatment or medicine. All content is the author’s opinion and is not intended to diagnose and remedy. The facts and figures contained in this document are presented solely for informational and educational purposes only. This book contains materials, statistics, news, and reports compiled from various resources and sources considered accurate and deemed reliable to the best of the Author’s knowledge; however, the author cannot assure and guarantee its validity and accuracy and cannot be considered, nor held accountable for any omissions or errors. The contents of this book are periodically updated. You must seek medical advice, treatment, and medicine from a professional or doctor before utilizing any of the information, techniques, advice, and remedies mentioned in this document. By applying and utilizing the information, techniques, advice, and remedies mentioned in this document, you consent to hold the Author unaccountable against and from any expenses, costs, and damages, including any potential legal fees subsequent from the use of any information presented in this book.
This disclaimer covers any injury or damages resulting from the application and uses, whether indirectly or directly, from any information or advice that are given, whether criminal intent, personal injury, negligence, offence, contract breach, or any action caused. By reading the information presented in this document, you accept all the risks related with the application of the advice given herein, with a complete understanding that solely you are liable for any result or effect that occurs upon the use of the information and the execution in any manner, as well as regardless of the interpretation you considered of the advice. To ensure your safety and health, consult a medical or professional practitioner before applying any of the information, techniques, advice, and remedies mentioned in this document.
4 What is Endocrine Disruption?
Endocrine disruption describes the impact of hormone-mimicking chemicals on our cells, organs and metabolism. Commonly referred to as Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs), these toxic compounds closely resemble the estrogen that our bodies produce. For this reason, they are known as ‘xenoestrogens ’. Xenoestrogens bind to estrogen-receptor sites on our cells and must be eliminated from our body by the same pathways as the estrogen we produce naturally. The pervasiveness of xenoestrogens in our environment makes them hard to avoid and leads to high levels of estrogen in the body. In a healthy individual, estrogen is balanced by progesterone (in women) or testosterone (in men). Exposure to EDCs leads to high levels of unopposed estrogen, a condition called estrogen dominance. Estrogen dominance can be a serious health risk that may cause troublesome symptoms and put us at risk of life-threatening diseases, including cancers, obesity, cardiovascular disease and autoimmune disorders. It’s important to know if you’re experiencing the symptoms of endocrine disruption.
Symptoms of high estrogen in women:
॰ Weight gain — especially around the hips, waist and thighs
॰ Depression and anxiety
॰ Trouble sleeping
॰ Poor memory and difficulty concentrating
॰ Mood swings
॰ Hair loss
॰ Irregular periods and PMS
॰ Fibrocystic breasts and uterine fibroids
॰ Loss of sex drive
॰ Swollen and tender breasts
॰ Cancer of the breast and uterus
Symptoms of high estrogen in men:
॰ Weight gain
॰ Erectile dysfunction
॰ Enlarged breasts
॰ Prostate cancer
Reducing Your Exposure to Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals The first step in balancing estrogen is to eliminate exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals Unfortunately, these compounds are so pervasive that it would be nearly impossible to avoid them altogether. The problem with estrogen-mimicking compounds is that they are so similar to the estrogen that our bodies produce and rely on that they are able to bind to estrogen receptor sites on cells throughout our body. Unfortunately, EDCs don’t signal our cells the way natural estrogen does and when they lock into receptor sites, it prevents our estrogen from affecting the cells where it is needed, disrupting the essential function of our natural hormones. That’s not all Constant exposure to toxic xenoestrogens overwhelms and burdens the liver. This causes a toxic build-up in the body and increases our risk for serious complications, especially non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) NAFLD is linked to obesity, insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes and can lead to cirrhosis of the liver, liver cancer and liver failure. Common environmental sources of EDCs include:
॰ Heavy Metals
॰ Personal Care Products
॰ Household Cleaners
॰ Prescription Hormones
॰ Hormones in Animal Products
॰ Drinking Water
BPAs, chemicals found in plastics, are a particularly concerning threat A recent study at Washington University revealed that the allowable amount of BPA exposure (according to FDA standards) is actually 44 times higher than we can actually safely be exposed to! BPAs directly inhibit sexual development. In fact, the toxic plastics are referred to as ‘gender benders’ within the scientific community because they interfere with the production of sperm, eggs and male and female chromosomes BPAs are directly linked to male infertility caused by low sperm quality. For men and women (and boys and girls) BPAs also increase the risk of insulin resistance, Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancers. To make matters worse, BPAs are nearly impossible to avoid. They are found in water bottles, the linings of cans of food and even leach directly into our hands from the ink on supermarket receipts. This is a perfect example of a serious and pervasive environmental health threat that our governments are not adequately regulating. In order to protect ourselves, our families and our children from the life- altering impact of exposure to BPAs and other endocrine-disrupting toxins, we have to take our health into our own hands. We must be informed about our exposure to toxins and learn how to safely get them out of our bodies. And we can’t rely on our governments to keep us safe, oreveninformed. We have to look out for each other. Read on to learn more about what EDCs are doing to our health and to find out how you can protect your family today.
Restoring Hormonal Balance In addition to reducing our exposure to EDCs, we must support our bodies’ capacity to eliminate excess estrogen from our systems. Estrogen detoxification starts in the liver. Once estrogen has been used by the body, it is broken down by the liver and then removed by the colon. When the liver is not functioning optimally, due to an excess of toxins or a deficiency of nutrients, it cannot remove estrogen at an effective rate, causing estrogen to be reabsorbed by the body. Xenoestrogens that we absorb from our environment, food and personal care products must also be filtered by the liver Many of these toxic substances cause damage to the liver in the process of being metabolized:
॰ BPA causes fatty liver disease in adults who were exposed to BPA during infancy and in babies whose mothers were exposed to plastics during their pregnancy.1 2
॰ Studies show that steady exposure to phthalates (commonly found in artificial fragrances) is linked to liver damage and contributes to the advancement of fatty liver disease.3
॰ Researchers at the University of California, San Diego have found that exposure to glyphosate, a widely used pesticide, correlates to more severe cases of fatty liver disease.4 To make matters worse, in a recent and disturbing study, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) revealed that PFAS, a group of human-made chemicals that includes PFOAS and many other chemicals, are detectable in all major drinking water supplies in the US. 5 PFAS are a class of toxic chemicals that are often referred to as ‘Forever Chemicals’ because they persist forever without breaking down in the environment... and in our bodies, PFAS build up in our blood and organs.
1 «Early-life BPA exposure reprograms gene expression linked to » 2 Apr 2017, https://wwwsciencedailycom/releases/2017/04/170402111308htm Accessed17Jan2020 2 «Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Induced by Perinatal - NCBI » 10 Sep 2019, https://wwwncbinlmnihgov/pubmed/31551937 Accessed17Jan2020 3 «Can phthalates impair liver function? - Endocrine Abstracts » https://wwwendocrine-abstractsorg/ea/0063/ea0063gp232 Accessed17Jan2020 4 «It’s in the Weeds: Herbicide Linked to Human Liver Disease » 14 May 2019, https://health ucsd edu/news/releases/Pages/2019-05-14-herbicide-linked-to-human-liver-disease aspx Accessed 17 Jan 2020 5 “PFAS Contamination of Drinking Water Far More - EWG ” 22 Jan 2020, https://www ewg org/research/national-pfas-testing/ Accessed 5 Feb 2020
Exposure is associated with weakened childhood immunity, liver damage, high cholesterol, asthma, thyroid disease and obesity in kids and adults PFAS also disrupt the endocrine system, causing hormonal imbalances that lead to testicular, liver, kidney and pancreatic cancers, infertility and low birth weight. Additionally, the CDC reports that PFAS are believed to be present in the blood of nearly all Americans The most common PFAS are found in stain-resistant carpets, nonstick cookware and firefighting foam.
Although the most notorious of them have been phased out of use, they persist in our drinking water, bodies and environment. The EWG and EPA agree that PFAS resist most conventional chemical and microbial treatment technologies but can be successfully eliminated from drinking water by reverse osmosis and activated carbon filters Though encouraging, this underscores the fact that we cannot rely on municipal water suppliers or regulatory bodies to keep us safe but must take it upon ourselves to be aware of the risks we face and take measures to protect our families. Unfortunately, the EPA has not mandated an enforceable nationwide limit on PFAS in drinking water and, to date, no safe way of hastening elimination of PFAS from the body has been discovered This makes it even more vitally important that we optimize our capacity to detoxify hazardous chemicals, starting with the liver. Restoring optimal liver function is a key step to balancing hormones, but in order for the estrogens and endocrine-disrupting chemicals that have been filtered by the liver to actually leave the body, the gut must be healthy as well Leaky gut, dysbiosis and inflammation directly contribute to hormonal imbalance When the junctions in the gut lining become weak, LPS (toxins that are produced by intestinal bacteria) and undigested food particles slip directly into the bloodstream and cause body-wide inflammation.
Systemic inflammation upsets hormonal balance in more ways than one In women, inflammation of the ovaries suppresses progesterone production which creates a relative excess of estrogen Women with LPS in their blood have inflammatory markers in their ovaries and a correspondingly low level of progesterone.
Testosterone is produced by the Leydig cells in the testes and they are highly sensitive to and easily destroyed by inflammation When men are chronically inflamed, they cease producing Leydig cells altogether Fewer and fewer Leydig cells means less and less testosterone Plus, inflammation activates an enzyme called aromatase Aromatase converts testosterone to estrogen This causes even further depletion of testosterone and also raises estrogen levels.
A healthy microbiome is essential to hormonal balance for numerous reasons For one, organisms within the gut, known collectively as the estrobolome, directly control the amount of circulating estrogen in our system.
If we don’t have the proper balance of bacterial species, this can cause our estrogen levels to be too high, or even too low. Finally, dysbiosis (imbalance in the microbiome generally characterized by a lack of beneficial species and an excess of detrimental species) contributes to chronic constipation When we’re constipated, estrogen that has been metabolized by the liver cannot be effectively eliminated by the colon Instead, it is reabsorbed into the bloodstream leading to elevated estrogen levels. Stress also feeds hormonal imbalance and depletes our immune system Stress is an unavoidable part of life, but that doesn’t mean we have to suffer from the effects of physical, emotional and mental stressors. Leaky gut, systemic infections, dysbiosis and stress all contribute to inflammation. Unfortunately, removing the cause of inflammation is not sufficient to put out the fire that has been set ablaze In order to restore balance, we must also calm the immune response and heal the damaged tissue. A final component to consider in our quest for balanced hormones, is the importance of progesterone and testosterone for balancing estrogen. While most strategies for restoring balance focus on supporting estrogen elimination, boosting progesterone and testosterone to optimal levels are also important steps to remember We can use scientifically proven herbal remedies to support hormonal balance by healing our livers and guts, improving our stress-coping capacity, reducing inflammation and raising our progesterone and testosterone. Support your detoxification pathways and restore healthy balance to your hormones with these natural remedies for estrogen dominance.
1. Castor Oil Packs
Castor oil packs are an ancient and proven way to support our detoxification pathways and stimulate circulation. Ancient Egyptians are believed to have been the first to make use of the healing potential of castor oil It also was, and continues to be, a popular treatment in the tradition of Ayurveda.
Castor oil packs promote healing by enhancing the flow of lymph and reducing inflammation. Castor oil packs directly support the liver by increasing our production of glutathione,6 lowering cholesterol levels and improving liver enzymes. 7 To make a castor oil pack, simply fold a piece of flannel cloth into three layers and place it over your abdomen. Slowly saturate the fabric by drizzling castor oil over it every time you use it until it is thoroughly saturated. After that, just add a little when the fabric begins to feel dry. Cover the castor oil pack with an old towel Secure in place with a bandage or strip of cloth if you wish. Apply a heat source on top of the fabric for best results. Allow it to sit for at least an hour and use the time to rest or meditate.
2. Milk Thistle
Milk thistle is an important herb for liver health. Studies have shown that milk thistle reduces liver injury caused by the use of over the counter medicines, radiation exposure, excessive iron levels, industrial toxins including phenylhydrazine and carbon tetrachloride, alcohol and even Amanita phalloides, a deadly poisonous mushroom better known as the death cap. 8 The active component of milk thistle is called silymarin.
6 “Glutathione preservation during storage of rat lenses in - NCBI ” 19 Nov 2013, https://www ncbi nlm nih gov/pubmed/24260265 Accessed 15 Jan 2020 7 “Evidence for the Topical Application of Castor Oil ” 13 Mar 2012, https://intjnmcom/evidence-for-the-topical-application-of-castor-oil/ Accessed15Jan2020 8 “Milk thistle in liver diseases: past, present, future - NCBI ” https://wwwncbinlmnihgov/pubmed/20564545 Accessed16Jan2020 Silymarin is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. It has been proven to be effective for treating chronic liver diseases, cirrhosis of the liver and hepatocellular carcinoma, the most common type of liver cancer. Silymarin also protects the liver from the damaging effects of alcohol abuse and slows the progression of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. 9 Milk thistle is commonly available as tablets, capsules and oral tinctures. Be sure to choose a supplement that contains at least 80 percent pure milk thistle extract and opt for capsules that contain 50-150 mg of pure milk thistle extract so that you can adjust your dosage to meet your needs. Alternatively, you can enjoy a soothing cup of milk thistle tea. If you are taking any medications, check with your doctor before beginning a milk thistle regimen, as it may interfere with some medicines, particularly anti-anxiety drugs, blood thinners and allergy medicines.
Glutathione is often referred to as the ‘mother of all antioxidants’ and the ‘master detoxifier’. According to Dr Mark Hyman, it’s the most important molecule we need to stay healthy and prevent disease. Although our bodies naturally produce glutathione, our levels get depleted by unhealthy diets, pollution, exposure to toxins, medications, stress, trauma, infections, radiation and aging. As such, it’s no surprise that many people are deficient in this essential molecule! Glutathione offers protection from oxidative damage by modulating the immune system, stimulating or reducing the immune response to oxidative stress as needed. As such, glutathione levels are an important factor in the development of autoimmune diseases, like Type 1 diabetes, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and endometriosis. 10 Additionally, a study conducted at the University Laboratory of Seminology & Immunology of Reproduction at the University of Rome found that glutathione supplementation significantly improved sperm health and function in men suffering from infertility. After 30 days of supplementation, a significant reduction in atypical forms of sperm was observed and after 60 days, all 5 measures of sperm motility were enhanced, showing just how powerfully glutathione supports healthy reproduction. 11
N-acetyl cysteine, better known as NAC is a common dietary supplement that supports liver health and prevents the development of cancers caused by high levels of estrogen. Cysteine is one of the three amino acids, along with glutamine and glycine, that our bodies use to replenish glutathione. Although glutathione supplementation has proven health benefits, some people do not absorb glutathione well when administered orally.
9 “Milk thistle in liver diseases: past, present, future - NCBI ” https://wwwncbinlmnihgov/pubmed/20564545 Accessed16Jan2020 10 “Glutathione: a key player in autoimmunity - NCBI ” 13 Feb 2009, https://wwwncbinlmnihgov/pubmed/19393193 Accessed16Jan2020 11 “Results of a controlled clinical trial of glutathione in - Gut ” https://gutbmjcom/content/gutjnl/6/5/472fullpdf Accessed16Jan2020
NAC supplements are an effective way to increase glutathione and boost antioxidant protection. 12 NAC also directly interferes with the development and progression of cancers that are fueled by excess estrogen. To better understand how this works, researchers investigated the influence of NAC on breast tissue in the presence of catechol estrogens that cause cancer development. The study concluded that NAC thwarted cancer progression through several key mechanisms: replenishing glutathione, balancing estrogen metabolism and preventing DNA changes caused by excess estrogen. 13
5. Alpha Lipoic Acid
Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) is yet another powerful antioxidant that directly supports a healthy liver. ALA reduces liver inflammation, promotes liver regeneration and even reverses cirrhosis of the liver, which was previously believed to be impossible. ALA is also a unique nutrient because it is soluble in both fat and water, which means it can reach all of the cells and tissues of the body. ALA is essential to healthy mitochondrial function It is an antioxidant that also chelates heavy metals and replenishes levels of other important antioxidants, like vitamin C, vitamin E and glutathione. 14 ALA is considered to be safe for most people with little to no side effects, even at high doses. 15
Artichokes are a relative of milk thistle and offer similar benefits. Artichoke leaf extract protects the liver from damage and promotes the regeneration of liver tissue It is a popularly recommended supplement, due to its effectiveness, tolerance and low incidence of side effects. 16 Artichoke directly supports the liver by increasing the production of bile. This increases the rate that the liver can filter toxins from the body. 17
12 “Effect of N-acetylcysteine on plasma cysteine and glutathione ” https://linkspringercom/article/101007/BF00609183 Accessed17Jan2020 13 “N-Acetylcysteine blocks formation of cancer-initiating - NCBI ” 31 May 2010, https://wwwncbinlmnihgov/pmc/articles/PMC2900421/ Accessed17Jan2020 14 “Diabetes and alpha lipoic Acid - NCBI ” 17 Nov 2011, https://wwwncbinlmnihgov/pubmed/22125537 Accessed17Jan2020 15 “Safety evaluation of a-lipoic acid (ALA) - ScienceDirect ” https://wwwsciencedirectcom/science/article/abs/pii/S0273230006001140 Accessed17Jan2020 16 “Artichoke leaf extract - Recent findings reflecting effects - NCBI ” https://wwwncbinlmnihgov/pubmed/23195590 Accessed17Jan2020 17 “Pharmacological Studies of Artichoke Leaf Extract and - NCBI ” https://wwwncbinlmnihgov/pubmed/26310198 Accessed17Jan2020
A recent study considered the benefits of artichoke leaf extract for people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Study participants received 600 mg of artichoke leaf extract for two months. Both ultrasounds and blood tests confirmed improvements in liver health, including increased blood flow to the liver, reduced liver size, lowered inflammatory markers, improved bilirubin counts and decreased cholesterol. 18
DIM (diindolylmethane) is found in cruciferous vegetables It alters estrogen metabolism, inhibits the growth of breast tumors and decreases the risk of breast cancer.
Although DIM is naturally present in broccoli, cabbage and kale, it would be hard to consume enough of these vegetables to obtain the protective benefits. DIM supplements offer a convenient way to boost your consumption of this critical nutrient. According to Harvard Medical School, DIM converts dangerous estrogens into “weaker, less cancer- causing estrogens ” It also reduces the effect of estrogen on cells, inhibits some cancer cells and protects from changes in DNA that make us more vulnerable to cancer. 19
Dandelion is a nutritious plant that is rich in two kinds of potent antioxidants: beta carotene and polyphenols. Beta carotene protects us from cellular damage and oxidative stress while polyphenols decrease inflammation throughout the body. Dandelion has a long history of use as a liver tonic in herbal medicine The entire plant can be consumed, from roots to greens to flower, though it is most commonly available as a tea prepared from roasted dandelion roots. In China, where dandelion has been valued for its medicinal and nutritive value for thousands of years, researchers have identified polysaccharides in the plant that heal the liver and protect it from damage caused by toxins. 20
18 “Rheumatic activity and clinico-pathologic dissociation - NCBI ” https://wwwncbinlmnihgov/pubmed/2952088 Accessed17Jan2020 19 “By the way, doctor: What does Indolplex do? - Harvard Health ” 9 Mar 2014, https://www health harvard edu/newsletter_article/By_the_way_doctor_What_does_Indolplex_do Accessed 17 Jan 2020 20 “Molecules | Free Full-Text | Purification, Preliminary - MDPI ” 25 Aug 2017, https://wwwmdpicom/1420-3049/22/9/1409/htm Accessed17Jan2020
L-glutamine is without a doubt the top choice for leaky gut repair That’s because it is the preferred food source of the cells of both the small intestine and the colon. 21 It is also the most common amino acid in the body and is important for building proteins L-glutamine allows the gut cells to reproduce more quickly which seals the junctions in the intestinal wall and restores optimal function of the epithelial barrier. 22 L-glutamine is found in red cabbage Sauerkraut is a great food source of L-glutamine because it also contains probiotics that make L-glutamine more bioavailable. L-glutamine supplements are available in powder and capsule form The powder is generally preferred because it is easier for the gut to digest 2-5 grams daily is an appropriate dose for most people. Occasionally, people experience allergic reactions to glutamine If you experience joint pain, nausea, vomiting or hives after beginning an L-glutamine regimen, discontinue the supplement and check in with your doctor.
10. Marshmallow Root
Marshmallow root is rich in mucilage which provides a soothing and protective coating for the digestive tract It heals ulcers, remedies diarrhea and constipation, and restores the integrity of the small junctions in the wall of the intestines. Marshmallow root also soothes inflammation, heals ulcers and stimulates regeneration of the cells of the digestive tract. It has a special affinity for the urinary tract as well Its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties make it a soothing remedy for infections of the kidney and bladder and it is effective for relieving prostatitis and prostate gland enlargement. 23
11. Licorice Root
Licorice root has been used in medicinal preparations since the days of ancient Greek and Chinese medicine It supports a healthy gut by restoring the protective lining of the digestive tract and soothing inflammation.
21 “Glutamine and barrier function in cultured Caco-2 - NCBI - NIH ” https://wwwncbinlmnihgov/pubmed/12840174 Accessed17Jan2020 22 “Role of Glutamine in Protection of Intestinal ” 22 Aug 2011, https://wwwncbinlmnihgov/pmc/articles/PMC4369670/ Accessed17Jan2020 23 “Unani perspective of Khatmi (Althaea officinalis) - Semantic ” https://pdfssemanticscholarorg/edcb/7e19e814c1d5faea98ec307388c769d08920pdf Accessed18Jan2020 Licorice root also has important benefits for menopausal women In a recent study, 90 women who were suffering from persistent and unmanageable hot flashes participated in a clinical trial to determine if licorice root could ease their symptoms The women who supplemented licorice root experienced significant relief in both frequency and intensity of hot flashes that extended for weeks even after they stopped using licorice. 24 In other research, licorice root has proven effective for suppressing cancer cells, inhibiting tumor growth and protecting our DNA from damage caused by cancer. 25 Licorice root is often used in herbal formulas because it enhances the efficacy of other medicinal plants Deglycerized licorice (DGL) has been processed to remove most of the glycyrrhizin and is considered safer for extended use.
12. Slippery Elm Bark
Slippery elm bark is yet another popular and time-tested remedy for leaky gut It supports the digestive tract by increasing mucilage, stimulating nerve endings and protecting the cells from oxidative damage . Slippery elm bark relieves constipation by drawing water into the colon and, when taken as a powder, resolves diarrhea by adding bulk to stools. Additionally, studies have found that continued use of slippery elm bark was just as effective as the leading pharmaceutical treatment for treating ulcerative colitis. 26 Slippery elm bark is available as teas, capsules and tablets, extracts and lozenges.
13. Fermented Foods
In addition to healing our guts, we need to restore diversity and abundance of the beneficial species in the microbiome Cultured foods are an inexpensive, not to mention tasty, way to introduce a broad diversity of microbes. Fermented foods and beverages like sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, kefir and apple cider vinegar, among others, are loaded with live active cultures.
24 “Effects of Licorice on Relief and Recurrence of https://wwwncbinlmnihgov/pmc/articles/PMC3832176/ Accessed18Jan2020 - NCBI ” 25 “Licorice and cancer - NCBI ” https://www ncbi nlm nih gov/pubmed/11588889 Accessed 18 Jan 2020 26 “Antioxidant effects of herbal therapies used by patients - NCBI ” https://wwwncbinlmnihgov/pubmed/11860402 Accessed18Jan2020 For example, a single spoonful of sauerkraut contains more microbial species than an entire bottle of probiotics, not to mention ferments boast a diversity of microorganisms that has not yet been replicated in probiotic supplements. In addition the the beneficial bacterial species, cultured foods contain nutrients that weren’t present in the original substrate, but rather are created in the process of fermentation or that were present originally but are found in greater concentrations in the final fermented product, including antioxidants, B vitamins, vitamin K, GABA and peptides. 27
Once we’ve restored an optimal balance of species in our microbiome, we must be sure to nourish the bacteria who, in turn, nourish us . The microbiome’s favorite food is a class of carbohydrates known as resistant starches. They’re called ‘resistant’ because we are not able to digest or absorb any nutrients from these foods. These foods, which are known as ‘prebiotics’ are just for our microbiome. Good sources of resistant starch include oats, legumes and green bananas, as well as rice and potatoes that have been cooked and cooled Other sources of prebiotic nourishment for your microbiome include chicory root, Jerusalem artichoke, garlic, onions and flaxseeds. When prebiotics are metabolized in the microbiome, they produce short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) that have many important benefits for our health It has been well-documented that SCFAs heal the digestive tract and support optimal cognitive functioning. Recent research shows that SCFAs also prevent the development of several forms of cancer. 28
27 “Health-Promoting Components in Fermented Foods - NCBI ” 27 May 2019, https://wwwncbinlmnihgov/pmc/articles/PMC6567126/ Accessed18Jan2020 28 “Pre-, pro- and synbiotics in cancer prevention and - NCBI ” 5 Sep 2018, https://wwwncbinlmnihgov/pmc/articles/PMC6145522/ Accessed18Jan2020
Ashwagandha is a widely used adaptogenic herb Although most adaptogens are stimulating, ashwagandha is known for its calming effect It is beneficial for anxiety, fatigue, brain fog, stress-induced insomnia and nervous exhaustion Ashwagandha enhances the adrenals and is one of the few herbs that directly boosts thyroid function. In a recent study, ashwagandha has also proven to be an effective anti-cancer agent which reduces tumors of estrogen- dependent breast cancer in women without causing any negative side effects. 29 In an unrelated study, ashwagandha’s reported ability to promote youthful vigor, enhance muscle strength and endurance was tested on overweight, middle-aged men The men who supplemented ashwagandha over an 8 week period reported improvements in fatigue, vigor and sexual and psychological well being A corresponding increase in DHEA and testosterone was confirmed by researchers. 30
16. Holy Basil Holy Basil, also known as tulsi, is a traditional Ayurvedic medicine that is known as the Queen
of Herbs for its many medicinal and spiritual benefits It is likened to “liquid yoga”, as regular consumption of tulsi tea is believed to have similar benefits for the body as a routine yoga practice. A review of over 130 studies on the health benefits of holy basil call it an ‘herb for all reasons’ due to its many and diverse applications Holy basil relieves insulin resistance, supports weight loss, lowers cholesterol and blood pressure, eases joint pain, soothes inflammation and can be used topically to disinfect and heal wounds. Holy basil is particularly effective at protecting us from xenoestrogens Studies show that tulsi protects the liver, kidney and brain from the cellular damage, DNA changes and immune stress caused by pesticides, industrial chemicals, parabens, heavy metals, pharmaceutical drugs and radioactive elements. 31
29 “Effect of an Extract of Withania somnifera Root on - NCBI - NIH ” https://wwwncbinlmnihgov/pmc/articles/PMC3675906/ Accessed18Jan2020 30 “A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled - NCBI ” 10 Mar 2019, https://wwwncbinlmnihgov/pmc/articles/PMC6438434/ Accessed18Jan2020 31 “Tulsi - Ocimum sanctum: A herb for all reasons - NCBI ” https://wwwncbinlmnihgov/pmc/articles/PMC4296439/ Accessed19Jan2020 17. Rhodiola
Rhodiola is native to Canada, Scandinavia and Siberia In Tibetan medicine it is used to lower fever, improve circulation, nourish the lungs and enhance energy. As knowledge of its uses spread, it became a cherished medicinal plant of the Chinese, Greeks and Vikings. Rhodiola balances blood sugar, enhances reproductive function, prevents stress-induced damage to the heart and is recommended for treating cancer, fibromyalgia, diabetes and congestive heart failure. To test rhodiola’s power to reduce the effects of stress, a study was conducted on university students during exam time The students who supplemented rhodiola for 20 days showed improved hand-eye coordination, mental fatigue and general wellbeing, along with reduced heart rates compared to the test takers who did not have the benefit of rhodiola. 32
Schisandra is a fruit that is native to China It benefits the liver, kidneys, heart, lungs and spleen Recent research shows that it relieves excess sweating, night sweats and menopause It also protects, repairs and enhances the function of the liver. 33 Schisandra enhances reflexes and mental capacity, but is also calming and stress-relieving It restores the immune system from damage caused by chronic anger, anxiety, depression, fear and stress. In a study of more than 100 people who reported experiencing significant personal and professional stress, symptoms of stress including fatigue, exhaustion and anxiety were improved after just three days of schisandra supplementation. Continued improvements were experienced throughout the month long study. 34
Ginger is a potent and versatile anti-inflammatory. You can juice it, cook with it, steep it into a warming tea, or, if you don’t prefer its distinctive flavor you can take it as a supplement and still reap the benefits. Ginger’s functional ingredients (gingerols,shogaol, and paradols) are proven to prevent various cancers. 35 Ginger is rich in antioxidants In addition to its anti-inflammatory benefits, it boosts the immune system and has been used for thousands of years to treat ailments including colds, nausea, arthritis, migraines, and hypertension In recent years, ginger has become increasingly popular for its effectiveness in reducing swelling, pain and inflammation. 36 32 “A double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study of the - NCBI ” https://wwwncbinlmnihgov/pubmed/10839209 Accessed19Jan2020 33 “Pause menopause with Rhodiola rosea, a natural selective ” 15 Jun 2016, https://wwwsciencedirectcom/science/article/abs/pii/S0944711315003682 Accessed19Jan2020 34 “Therapeutic effects and safety of Rhodiola rosea - NCBI ” 6 Jan 2012, https://wwwncbinlmnihgov/pubmed/22228617 Accessed19Jan2020 20. Vitex Vitex, also known as chasteberry, is a small fruit the size of a peppercorn with origins in Asia
and Europe It was celebrated for its medicinal uses by the Greeks 2,000 years ago and has been used as a remedy for female hormonal imbalance in European herbal medicine since the Renaissance. Vitex supports a healthy hormonal balance in women by stimulating the production of progesterone Supporting progesterone remedies imbalances caused by unopposed estrogen, reduces the symptoms of PMS and perimenopause and prevents miscarriages caused by luteal phase defect. 37 A large study of more than 1,500 women tested vitex’s progesterone-boosting effect for its ability to reduce premenstrual symptoms including depression, anxiety, cravings, bloating and breast tenderness. After three months of vitex supplementation 94% of study participants reported that their symptoms had significantly improved or disappeared. 38 Vitex boasts benefits for men as well. A study from the Institute of Pharmaceutical Biology in Switzerland demonstrated that vitex is effective for the treatment and prevention of prostate enlargement and prostate cancer. 39
35 “Anti-Oxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Ginger - NCBI ” https://wwwncbinlmnihgov/pmc/articles/PMC3665023/ Accessed19Jan2020 36 “The Amazing and Mighty Ginger - Herbal Medicine - NCBI ” https://wwwncbinlmnihgov/books/NBK92775/ Accessed19Jan2020 37 “Vitex agnus-castus Extracts for Female Reproductive ” 7 Nov 2012, https://wwwthieme-connectcom/products/ejournals/abstract/101055/s-0032-1327831 Accessed21Jan2020 38 “Treatment of premenstrual syndrome with a - NCBI ” https://wwwncbinlmnihgov/pubmed/10787228 Accessed21Jan2020 39 “A Vitex agnus-castus extract inhibits cell growth and - NCBI ” https://wwwncbinlmnihgov/pubmed/16254821 Accessed21Jan2020
Maca is a nutrient-dense Peruvian root that is commonly available in powdered form It has been cultivated and consumed by Andean people since the days of the Incas It is best-known and most widely used to enhance libido and support fertility. Maca reduces erectile dysfunction by improving circulation and has even been referred to as the Peruvian Viagra. 40 Maca regulates estrogen levels, increasing or decreasing the amount of estrogen in the body as needed to create balance It’s been shown to reduce symptoms of menopause and perimenopause like hot flashes and night sweats by acting as a natural form of hormone replacement therapy. 41 A powerful adaptogen, maca is commonly used to support adrenal health and has proven benefits for the pituitary, pancreas, pineal gland and thyroid. 42
Magnesium is an essential nutrient that many people are deficient in It is vital to over 600 bodily processes and necessary for the proper function of numerous endocrine glands including the thyroid, adrenals and pancreas. In other words, it is key to our metabolism, energy levels and insulin regulation. 43 Magnesium is especially important for elimination of excess estrogens. The liver requires magnesium for the second phase of estrogen detoxification Low levels of magnesium inhibit this function and contribute to excess estrogen. 44 Magnesium also supports healthy levels of testosterone, especially in older men In a study of 399 men aged 65 years and older, magnesium was found to have a strong and highly significant impact on total testosterone levels. 45
40 “Subjective effects of Lepidium meyenii (Maca) - Wiley Online ” 26 Feb 2009, https://onlinelibrarywileycom/doi/abs/101111/j1439-0272200800892x Accessed21Jan 2020 41 “Maca (Lepidium meyenii) for treatment of menopausal - NCBI ” 15 Aug 2011, https://wwwncbinlmnihgov/pubmed/21840656 Accessed21Jan2020 42 “Therapeutic Effects of Pre-Gelatinized Maca (Lepidium ” https://wwwncbinlmnihgov/pmc/articles/PMC3614596/ Accessed21Jan2020 43 “Magnesium in man: implications for health and disease - NCBI ” https://wwwncbinlmnihgov/pubmed/25540137 Accessed21Jan2020 44 “Modulation of Metabolic Detoxification ” 16 Jun 2015, https://wwwncbinlmnihgov/pmc/articles/PMC4488002/ Accessed21Jan2020 45 “Magnesium and anabolic hormones in older men - NCBI - NIH ” 15 Jun 2011, https://wwwncbinlmnihgov/pmc/articles/PMC4623306/ Accessed21Jan2020
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